Gulbarga SP to probe sale of girl babies

Krishna decides to hold talks on tribal welfare today

DH News Service

THE Chief Minister, Mr S M Krishna, and three of his cabinet colleagues will hold a meeting at Heggadadevana Kote tomorrow to discuss the problems confronted by tribals and also take measures for their welfare. The ministers to take part in the meeting are Social Welfare Minister Kagodu Thimmappa, Forest Minister K H Ranganath and Revenue Minister H C Srikantaiah.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Thimmappa said as per the forest rules the tribals cannot live in the forest area. But, the tribals have no contact with the outside world. ‘’Tomorrow’s meeting will discuss the ways and means to rehabilitate the tribals,’’ he added. Mr Krishna during his last visit to Heggadadevana Kote had assured the locals that a mini-cabinet meeting would be convened to exclusively discuss their problems.

The tribal leaders, including Health Task Force Chairman H Sudarshan, who is actively invo-lved in tribal welfare activities has been invited for tomorrow’s meeting, which is expected to begin around 11 am. Referring to the sale of girl children in Lambani tandas of Gulbarga, Mr Thimmappa said the government has directed the Gulbarga superintendent of police to investigate and the officials would be visiting Secunderabad to inquire into the affairs of the NGO allegedly responsible for the sale.

The cases under IPC would be launched against those involved in the trafficking, he added. The minister said that the three children who were sold from the tandas were in an ashram in Tandur near Hyderabad. There was no clues about how the children landed there and none in the tandas were ready to divulge details about the sale, he added.

Preliminary study

Mr Thimmappa reiterated that a blind belief that sale of girl child leads to birth of baby boys and severe poverty have compelled the tribal group to fall victim to an ‘’NGO’’ running illegal trafficking in girl child, according to a preliminary study conducted by the government. The illiterate tribal depend on wages they earn for their livelihood and most of the families have more than five to six children, with girls forming the majority.

Mr Thimmappa said the ‘’NGO’’ - John Abraham Memorial House - had set up an ashram residential school for orphans in Tandur taluk of Andhra Pradesh, its headquarters located in Secunderabad. At present 67 minor children were staying in the ashram school and no record has been maintained regarding the wards, he pointed out.

The minister said the by local people had demanded that parents who sold their children, be spared from any legal action. Only after thorough investigation, the government could consider some leniency to the parents on humanitarian grounds, he added. Mr Thimmappa said the income of some of the tribals was very meagre and they cannot even afford to provide a meal to their children.

He said the government has been preparing schemes to provide employment to the tribals to save them from the clutches of touts. Plans were afoot to grant them land free of cost, financial assistance for setting up mini-dairies and access to tap forest's minor produces. The minister, who visited the ashram school recently, said he was shocked to learn that the authorities were unaware from where the children were procured. The school only maintained a register to indicate the number of inmates.

He said the government had been so far been able to secure information that 19 girl children have been sold from 45 hamlets in the last five years and three of them were in the care of ashram school. The whereabouts of the remaining 16 were yet to be ascertained.

Source:Deccan Herald
Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: April 5, 2001
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